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The requirements to become a water analyst may vary depending on the hiring corporation and most companies may prefer that you have a bachelor's degree in a science discipline. One of the focuses of this profession is to perform quantitative analysis of water and other substances to ensure water quality. This often involves extensive laboratory work, and you may need prior experience to become a water analyst. There are training programs and college laboratory sessions that may prepare you to perform duties including operating reverse osmosis or water demineralization equipment and recording analytical data on a daily basis.
Universities offer a variety of majors that can help you become a water analyst including biology, environmental engineering, and hydrology. A bachelor's degree in hydrology may be the best suited degree for this career choice because it focuses mainly on water and environmental resources. Prerequisites for advanced courses in hydrology may include chemistry, physical geology, physics, and several levels of mathematics. These courses can prepare you for field related coursework such as fundamentals of water quality, subsurface and surface hydrology, water resources management, and hydrological modeling. Most of the advanced courses may be accompanied by laboratory work which can prepare you to become a water analyst.
Internships are offered by a variety of agencies including government facilities, aquariums, and public water treatment centers. You may have a chance to work with biologists, engineers, and other water analysts. During your internship, you may perform hands-on duties including bacteriological analysis of water samples, operating analytical and flow measurement equipment, and preparing solutions for water treatment. The opportunity to observe other professionals in the field and to learn how to use equipment to perform daily tasks can help you become a water analyst. Your coursework should be able to familiarize you with standard laboratory procedures and other laboratory practices that you will need to abide by in this profession.
After graduation, you may want to consider enrolling in a training program or finding entry-level employment in the field depending on the amount of experience required by future employers. Many jobs may offer on-the-job training to familiarize you with their company. In addition to laboratory duties, you may be required to perform supervisory duties that could include training and managing other laboratory staff. Government websites may help you find local employment in this field because most jurisdictions have various types of water plants and facilities. There are other environmental jobs that you may be qualified for and the Internet is an excellent resource to find employment in this profession.